Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook is a collection of information on topics of interest to Dr. Weyrich that may be of interest to the world wide audience. Due to limitations of time, not all information that Dr. Weyrich knows or would like to further research is published here. Dr. Weyrich welcomes financial contributions to support specific research topics, as well as copies of non-free access journal articles for him to review on a topic. Constructive criticism is also welcome.


Overview of Emphysema

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common end-point for long-term cigarette smoking, and significantly impacts the quality of life of patients suffering from this condition. While stopping smoking is a good first step in limiting the ongoing progression of this disease, Dr. Weyrich can offer non-pharmaceutical treatments that often can slow progression or even give partial remission to this disease.

Complimentary and alternative treatments for emphysema that are considered below include:

  • Low Dose Naltrexone
  • Neurotransmitter Balancing

Treatment of Emphysema

Please see conventional, complimentary and alternative medical treatments for important background information regarding the different types of medical treatments discussed below.

Naturopathic, Complimentary and Alternative Treatments

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

According to the Low Dose Naltrexone home page [LDN], LDN has been seen to benefit emphysema (COPD). Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). However, Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of emphysema with LDN.

Please see What is Low Dose Naltrexone? for more information.

Low Dose Naltrexone

The late Dr. Bernard Bihari [Bihari2003], [Bihari2013], who discovered the benefits of low dose naltrexone in 1986, reported extraordinary results treating a variety of autoimmune and neuroinflammatory conditions [Bihari2003], [Bihari2013]. Please see [LDN_Story] for an excellent documentary video, and [Elsegood2016] and [Moore2008] for books.

Dr. Weyrich notes that these reports are considered anecdotal, and without expensive double-blind placebo-controlled trials (which are unlikely to be funded, since LDN is a generic drug that cannot be patented), these results cannot be proven to be anything more than "spontaneous remissions"; however, given the low cost (less than $40/month) and extremely low side effect profile, a therapeutic trial may be in order.

The main caveats are that patients cannot also be being treated with extended release opiates for pain control and cannot be organ transplant recipients. This is an off-label use, and as such is not likely to be covered by insurance.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and offers these protocols as a complement to other therapies; however at this time Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of emphysema or COPD using LDN.

Neurotransmitter Balancing

Neuro Research [Hinz2015] reports that chronic diseases such as emphysema can be benefited by balancing neurotransmitter levels in the body.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in neurotransmitter balancing protocols, but has not treated emphysema using this technique.

Please see What is Neurotransmitter Balancing? for more information.


References for Emphysema